Tuesday, February 22, 2011

feeling like a porcupine...

Needles, anyone???

I didn't think so.

Lately, I've had my fair share of needle experience.  January and February have been full of needles.  Nope, I haven't taken up cross-stiching or needlepoint.  I've been in treatment for my neck and shoulder issues.  My doc referred me to physical therapy--to a specific therapist who does a specific treatment called dry-needling.  So, twice a week I drive a half-hour to have myself stuck with needles.  I know you wish you were me.

Apparently, my neck and shoulder issues are due to misuse and abuse for many years, and ignoring the chronic tension there for too long.  Dry-needling is a way to get very tight muscles to release over time.  Kelly, my PT (who I really like in spite of what she does to me) takes acupuncture needles and sticks them into various spots on my neck and head and shoulders.  It does not hurt when they go in--the needles are so thin you don't feel a puncture at all.  However, then she either leaves them there or wiggles them around until the muscle twitches and releases.  It is not particularly pleasant to have them wiggled.  Kelly says I "secretly like it", cause it's helping me.  If she leaves the needles in to "cook", she comes back after five minutes and "spins" them, and then removes them after an additional 5 minutes.  It's not as bad as the wiggling part, but it's achy and weird.  Then I get a ten minute heat application (also known as a nap).  That part is nice.  Kelly says, "come for the needles, stay for the heat".

She also has me making ergonomic changes to my workstation at work, and to my laptop habits at home (read here: no more blogging from my couch or bed--boo.), and doing some stretches for my posture, etc.    On top of that, every two weeks I head back to my doc and he gives me "trigger point injections" into my overtight muscles.  The injections contain some meds that help my uptight muscles to chill a bit.  Each time, I drive right from the doc's to PT for Kelly to "dig the snot out of" my muscles.  On those days--no needles from Kelly--just massage and ultrasound.  And then heat if I want.  It's a regular spa-day!

It's been almost two months and I am just starting to notice the treatments paying off.  I think I am beginning to turn a corner.  So, bloggies, perhaps you have been wondering where I was if I wasn't blogging?  Perhaps you imagined me shopping, relaxing, or enjoying the beautiful Colorado mountains.  NOPE.  Much of my normal writing time I am laying face down with all sorts of needles sticking out of me.

Like a porcupine.

A porcupine with bad posture and incorrect laptop technique--that's me.  :0)


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I have TERRIBLE posture...you're frightening me with the needles though so maybe I'll think about that and stand up straight and tall today!!!

Panera soon? I'm sorry we haven't made it happen yet in 2011.

Dawn said...

yikes! you have mentioned this acupuncture before, but i had no idea!! course, now that i kow? EEEK! but i am glad you feel like it is helping you.

hope the next bit on life is... more smiley :)

Sharone said...

Wow, none of that sounds very fun. Well, with the exception of the part where you're starting to see a difference.

So glad you're back! :)

Karen said...

Lol, love the picture! I'm sorry you have such neck problems. Glad to hear you are feeling better.

Lea said...

I imagine Drs. have seen more neck and shoulder issues since the popularity of computers. It is hard to maintain the proper posture but it's something I am so aware of.

I had acupuncture on my lower back but to no avail. I know everything you are talking about. I'm so glad you are seeing improvement.

Blessings to you!

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